The Aid leads Stan towards the outside lawn. On the left side of the room is Zallynack responding to a text. Waiting for him are Dan, Mitchell, Serena, and Dinke. As Stan passes...
Don’t sweat this buddy. Afterwards, beers are on me.
Look them in the eyes, posture straight, and give ‘em hell.
Serena hugs Stan and kisses him.
You get more of that when you’ve saved the world.
Dinke walks with Stan to the glass doors.
Not to add extra pressure on you, but both the domestic and international news are out there.
Dinke points to a TV news report. Images of angry Hucklebee followers around the world waiting to hear Stan’s speech. They all look to be on the verge of a riot.
You don’t have any...inspiring messages or thoughts before I go out there?
Dinke pauses for a moment. His Aid brings him a glass of lemonade, which he swiftly drinks.
Stan, a week ago you were an average man, who had incredible circumstances thrust upon you. Think of them as the sourest lemons you’ve ever seen. Take those lemons, and squirt the citric acid in all of their eyes.
Stan nods, not comprehending it at all. He swiftly drinks his water and grimaces.
Ugh, it’s chalky. You guys need water filters.
He grabs Dinke’s lemonade and finishes it. Dinke hesitates to stop him. Head down, Stan leaves the room, just as Omber enters, followed by Laura.
Stan takes his first steps onto the stage erected for him. He looks directly at the ground. The world is silent.
Laura spots Omber sneaking his head out and approaches.
Mr. Grayson, Hucklebee’s assistant?
I’m Reverend Grayson now!
Oh? Reverend Grayson, I am Stan’s sister--
--I’m terribly sorry to hear that.
You shouldn’t be. Stan is...flawed, but he is a decent person. I know the Reverend only speaks the truth, but couldn’t he have been confused? Maybe his illness caused--
--Ha ha, you must have the same curse as Hucklebee.
What? Did Hucklebee say--
--Nothing. You’re just...wrong. I’m right. Don’t argue. You could be lumped in with your bro.
Laura’s mouth hangs agape. She watches Stan sympathetically, and walks up close to the glass doors, next to Serena.
Dinke and his Agents are outside, standing behind Stan.
STAN’S POV: Stan’s feet take slow steps down the stage. The world is quiet. When the podium becomes visible, Stan stops. He looks up.
With the sight of people as far as the eyes can see comes a wave of calls, insults, and angry screams. Zealots shout at Stan, throwing garbage. Members of the Darwin Disciples push and taunt the zealots. In the back, Beezy, Jark and Fingo stand in a group of Goths and Metal Heads, cheering Stan on. They hold up all of the things Stan asked them to get.
The stage is surrounded by armed guards. Stan looks back to Dinke, who gives him a thumbs up. He sees Laura and Serena watching from inside. Stan smooths out the speech.
Hello. My name is Stan Bee Luther, and a week ago, I was living a peaceful life, providing valuable services to help mankind. Suddenly, a vile and corrupt liar named Hollis Hucklebee--
LOYAL HUCKLEBEE FOLLOWER
--Don’t mention his name, you monster!
--accused me of being the “Antichrist”, a ridiculous claim that only an ignorant simpleton would fall for, or so I thought.
RELIGIOUS ZEALOT 1
I have a PhD! You’re the idiot for being in league with evil!
Since then, my life and those of the people I care about have been threatened by these insane, dangerous fanatics--
Stan is hit in the head by a bottle.
RELIGIOUS ZEALOT 2
Don’t listen to his lies!
Let him speak, hypocrite!
Your false messiah Hucklebee was always spewing vitriolic crap!
RELIGIOUS ZEALOT 2
Shut up bitch! Your ilk isn’t worthy of speaking his name!
Stan, woozy, watches the fighting crowds.
STAN’S POV: The people become horrific demonic creatures before his eyes, and back to humans. The sky turns colors, from blue to gray to purple to red.